Technology and polluted minds

Technology is the collection of tools, machines, techniques and methods to overcome a problem, find a better solution for a pre-existing problem and discover simpler ways to handle a situation. Technology affects human’s life as well as other species on earth. People apply different forms of technology in their daily life and are not aware of its impacts on their lives. Technology has both beneficial and unfavourable influences on our lives.

Certainly, technology has had numbers of great influences on the medical procedures. There are many devices and tools that simplify diagnosis and treatment of diseases. For instance, recently researchers have developed a laser device for treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s (1). Another example is the devices that assist diabetics to measure blood sugar without going to a clinic. Moreover, technology has affected the education systems. Some schools incorporate different technologies in their teaching and training programs (2). Students can communicate and discuss their projects with others from different countries. Nowadays, we can quickly access the news from our computers and phones. We can even set our phones to send notifications when our favorite hockey team scores.

Definitely, technology has had unfavourable and disadvantages effects as well. Technology has contributed significantly to the earth pollution. Industrial factories that produce different tools and machines are among major sources of air and water pollutions and climate chaos. Industrial factories mostly apply fossil fuels that are a major source of pollutants including carbon monoxide  (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matters (PM). The levels of these pollutants in some cities are a major concern and governments have devoted a lot of money to overcome this matter. In cities like Paris, the public transportation system is free of charge on particular days, encouraging people to commute with buses and trains (3). Moreover, the waste that is generated by producing these gadgets has influenced the environment. Unfortunately, people that use these technologies to a less degree are in more danger (4). For instance, people in poor neighbourhoods use wood stoves to cut down the cost of living and as a result are more exposed to pollutants such as PMs.

But what we mostly ignore or not consider as pollution, is the effects of technology on our minds, life styles and thoughts. Technology has had huge impacts on the way we communicate, the time we spend together, our creativity in solving problems and cultures.

Technology has not only polluted our air and water, but it has polluted our minds. These days, family members spend less time together and more time with their phones and computers. Kids barely play outside and are mostly occupied with their video games. Watching a TV commercial that encourages parents to push their kids to have at least 60 minutes of physical activity, made me realize that the effects of technology on our minds and life styles is greater than we think. Possibly, the adverse effects of technology in our lives whether it is the polluted air or minds have roots in our desire and willingness to always go for fancier and better devices and gadgets.  I think the threat of lack of communication among family members because of their occupation with phones and computers is as destructive as technology’s impacts on the environment. Technology is gradually affecting the human’s nature. As humans we used to be able to survive with minimal resources and nowadays we feel so insecure to leave home without a cellphone. Unfortunately, our attachments to technology have polluted our minds and lifestyles.

Reference:

1- Piotr Hanczyc et al. (2013). Multiphoton absorption in amyloid protein fibres. Nature Photonics, 8, 962-972

2- Bush, T. (2012, September 10). Exploring the future impact of technology on teaching and learning. Easybib.com. Retrieved March 19,2014 from http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2012/sep/10/future-impact-technology-teaching-learning

3-Paris pollution hits life-threatening level (2014, March 14). cbc.ca. Retrieved March 19, 14 from http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/paris-pollution-hits-life-threatening-level-1.2573059

4-Lipfert. F. W. (2004). Air pollution and poverty: Does the sword cut both ways? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; 58(1):2-3.

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